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BNP Paribas Asset Management goes short U.S. tech stocks

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By Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) – BNP Paribas Asset Management is shifting its exposure across U.S. equities away from banks and positioning for a decline in technology stocks, citing concerns over the maturing cycle in the world’s largest economy.

“We are worried that U.S. equities as a whole could see a leg-down after a long rally driven by the information technology sector,” Christophe Moulin, head of multi asset at BNP Paribas wrote in his quarterly outlook, adding that he has opened a short position on the U.S. tech sector versus U.S. equities.

The Dow Jones and S&P 500 <.DJI> <.SPX> have risen around 8 percent since the start of the year while the tech-heavy Nasdaq <.IXIC> has jumped more than 14 percent.

While tech earnings had been strong, there were doubts about whether the current pace of earnings growth could be sustained, said Moulin, whose firm has 560 billion euros of assets under management.

BNP Paribas also closed its long position in U.S. bank stocks and Japanese equities, which had rallied at the end of the third quarter helped by a weaker yen. In currencies, BNP Paribas closed its short euro/yen position, but keeps its short euro/dollar position, Moulin said.

(Reporting by Karin Strohecker; Editing by Jamie McGeever)